- REUTERS/Toby Melville
LONDON – Last year’s vote to leave the European Union was the most momentous political act in Britain for a generation and has left an impact on almost all areas of public life – even the government’s wine cellar.
Sir Alan Duncan, the Minister of State at the Foreign Office, delivered the annual report on the government’s hospitality wine cellar on Monday, revealing that wine consumption fell by 12% last year.
Sir Alan blamed Brexit for the sobering news, saying wine drinking declined “due to fewer Government events, particularly during the EU Referendum period.”
In another Brexit-quirk, 52% of wine drank by volume last year was English and Welsh vintages, mirroring the exact percentage who voted Leave last June.
The government’s wine cellar supplies events run by ministers and departments. The cellar is stocked with fine wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy in France, vintage champagnes and cognacs, ports, and new world bottles from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, among others.
The cellar sold £40,800 worth of stock last year, slightly up from £40,390 in the prior year.
The department spent £45,042 last year replenishing its stock and English wines represented 49% of all wine bought by volume.
The government’s wine cellar has been self-sufficient since 2011, funding itself through the sale of wine to government departments and the selling off of its more valuable stock to outside buyers.